Dell Mini 9 Hardware and Upgrades Discuss Dell Mini 9 Hardware and Upgrades.

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levil levil is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Default Internal USB 3G with built in SIM slot + MORE - 02-09-2009, 03:03 AM

Dear Everyone

I just read everything in this part of the forum (who needs the search function when you can just read (skim) everything in ~6 hours

Here is what I am thinking. I have a no WWAN slot in the Mini 9 that is sitting at my mother in law's apartment in the box Dell shipped in. I'll be getting my hands on it Feb 28. I was looking at the possible mods and I am considering a RunCore, an SDHC and up to two internal thumb drives. (I hope the WWAN slot can fit two side by side

Additionally a 3G would be super nice but I have several concerns.

First of all, I need Wireless. So that slot cannot be used.

Second, if I use a PCIe version I will not be able to fit a single one of those USB thumbs in the WWAN slot

Third, I am extremely wary of using the WIFI antenna. I am fairly certain that disconnecting even one of the two Wifi antennas will lead to Wifi signal loss.

Fourth, while I am not sure my machine will have the built in SIM slot, if it does, it'd be nice to use.

Fifth, holy crab that PCI-e device is expensive.

One possible way to overcome these concerns is the internal installation of a USB 3G dongle. They tend to cost less, a lot less.

Possible issues:

A, I suspect it needs to be installed under the palm rest to get decent reception. (Just like someone did with the GPS).

B, Too big (I guess I have no Bluetooth, not will I ever even consider having it.)

C, Too thick (especially if the sim slot is there).

D, What do those dongles use for antenna? The bigger ones I suspect have a regular antenna ran around below the plastic. But what about the smaller ones?

<Does anyone have input on these issues>.

One way to overcome C (and maybe even B) is to connect up the appropriate parts of the USB dongle with with the internal SIM slot of the Mini 9? (Assuming I have one.) I have heard absolutely no discussion of using the slot if it is there (unless the WWAN is OEM installed). If the USB 3G needs to go under the palm, for me it would be unacceptable to install the sim there too. I travel a lot. I rely on local pre-paid services. A completely disassembly for every sim change is just not an option on the road.

Any thoughts on any of these? Specific recommendations maybe? (Oh yeah, all parts I use will have to be OSX ready.)

Additionally, if this is all made to happen, do you think I can fit 2 USB Thumb Drives side by side above the WWAN slot? 192GB of storage (excluding the SDHC) would be SWEET. (Even if I don't want to spend that much money, having the option would be nice...)

Finally, I do have an MSI MP-54G-BT2 sitting on my shelf. It used to be in the MSI laptop I had. It is a single mPCI-e with both BT and WIFI. Do you think this would work in the Mini9? I remember, the MSI had a button to turn the wifi, the bt or both on and off. Could this work without such a button? (Alternatively could it be forced to recognize the "buttons" the Mini9 has?)

Thanks. Cheers.

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